How exchanges work

Council tenants may exchange properties with other council and housing association tenants in East Lothian and throughout the UK. You can advertise your house online and search for suitable exchanges.

Things to think about

  • You should not carry out an exchange without getting permission.
  • You will not be allowed to exchange to a house too large for your needs.
  • In New Build Properties, rents are higher than in older council properties and Council Tax may be higher.
  • You will need to clear any debt owed to the council - i.e. rent arrears - before moving.
  • You will not be allowed to exchange if you have broken the terms of your lease, for example with antisocial behaviour
  • If you are a Housing Association tenant, please see the information on our Help for Housing Association tenants pages.


Incentives are available to make moving easier, in some cases. If you down-size to a smaller property, you could receive £3000 - please go to our information on Incentives for down-sizing.

Advertising your property and searching for an exchange

Our search and advertising page will guide you through the process. If you prefer, you can ask for help at your local housing office.


In some circumstances, we will agree to transfer you to another property. Go to our Transfer page to find out more.

Downsizing by Mutual Exchange or Transfer can save you money